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Was Bullard That Hawkish? (No)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Was Bullard That Hawkish?  (No).

Futures are moderately higher following more geo-political progress amidst an otherwise quiet night.

Russian officials signaled they are open to high-level talks with the U.S. on strategic stability, which is being taken as another (small) step towards an ultimate cease-fire.

Economically, the only notable number was UK Retail Sales and they were better than expected, rising 0.6% vs. (E) 0.2%.

Today the calendar is sparse with just Existing Home Sales (E: 4.360M) and one Fed speaker, Collins (8:40 a.m. ET) but if she doesn’t provide any hawkish surprises, this early rally can continue as stocks recoup yesterday’s Bullard inspired losses.

Incremental Positive Developments

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Bottom Line – Incremental Positive Developments, But Not Enough for a Bottom
  • Industrial Production Takeaways
  • Chart: 5-Yr Breakevens Continue to Trend Lower Amid Confidence in the Fed
  • Housing Market Index Underscores Cooling Real Estate Market

Futures are slightly higher in more cautious trade this morning as strong earnings from NFLX (+14%)  and UAL (+3%) are helping offset hot inflation data overseas.

UK CPI rose 0.2% to 10.1% vs. (E) 10.0%, revisiting a 40-year high which is bringing inflation back into focus today.

From a catalyst standpoint, there is one economic report to watch today: Housing Starts (1.475M), and two Fed speakers to watch: Kashkari (1:00 p.m. ET) and Evans (6:30 p.m. ET).

There is also a 20-Yr Treasury Bond Auction at 1:00 p.m. ET. If yields rise in the wake of the auction, that could once again weigh on equities.

Finally, earnings continue with: ALLY ($1.73), PG ($1.55), CFG ($1.21), and WGO ($2.99) reporting ahead of the bell, and TSLA ($1.01), IBM ($1.78), AA ($0.09), and PPG ($1.67) releasing their results after the bell.

Bottom line, there have been some incremental fundamental positives that have helped support the relief rally in stocks this week, and if fixed-income markets can remain orderly and earnings continue to surprise to the upside, the S&P 500 could continue towards 3,800 or beyond today.

Market Multiple Table Chart

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Market Multiple Table Chart
  • CPI Preview:  Good Bad and Ugly

Futures are slightly higher ahead of this morning’s CPI as reports suggest UK PM Truss will have to abandon more of her fiscal spending and tax cut plan.

Positively, conservative members of Parliament continued to push back against PM Truss’s fiscal plan and that’s helping the Pound rally and GILT yields to decline.

Negatively, Chinese authorities are reimposing some restrictions in Shanghai as COVID cases rise and as Chinese officials hold on to the “Zero COVID” policy.

Focus today will be on CPI and estimates are as follows: Headline: 0.2% m/m and 8.1% y/y. Core:  0.4% m/m and 6.5% y/y.  For CPI to spark a material rally, markets will want to see outright declines in CPI (so less than 8.1% and 6.3% respectively).  Conversely, year over year CPI coming in higher than September readings will reinforce the idea that inflation is not declining, and the market is a long, long way from a Fed pivot.  The other notable report today is Jobless Claims (E: 225K) but that shouldn’t move markets.

Have We Reached Peak Hawkishness?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Are We At Peak Hawkishness?
  • Putting the Pullback in 2-Yr Yields in Perspective: Chart
  • JOLTS Fall Sharply

Stock futures are down roughly 1% this morning as investors digest the sizeable week-to-date gains amid rebounds in Treasury yields and the dollar.

Looking overseas, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand raised rates 50 bps overnight, meeting consensus expectations while the Eurozone Composite PMI came in at 48.1 vs. (E) 48.2.

Today, the focus will be on economic data early with the ADP Employment Report (E: 200K) due out before the bell as well as data on International Trade in Goods and Services (E: -$68.0B), and then the ISM Services Index (E: 56.0).

There is also one Fed official scheduled to speak in the afternoon: Bostic  (4:00 p.m. ET).

Bottom line, most of this week’s gains have been a function of renewed “peak-hawkishness” hopes however if economic data comes in stronger than expected and we see yields turn back higher and the dollar resume its rally, then we could see stocks give back some of this week’s rally which has admittedly occurred at an unsustainable pace.

Tom Essaye Quoted in Benzinga on September 28th, 2022

Bank Of England Begins Purchasing UK Bonds To Stabilize Market, 10-Year US Treasury Rates Hit 4%

“Going forward, this currency and bond market volatility absolutely adds downward pressure on stocks and increases the chances we see a funding crisis of some sort that could send stocks sharply lower,” Tom Essaye said. Click here to read the full article.

Understanding What’s Happening in the UK and with the BOE (This Matters to U.S. Stocks and Bonds)

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Understanding What’s Happening in the UK and with the BOE (This Matters to U.S. Stocks and Bonds)
  • What the Nordstream Pipeline Sabotage Means for Energy Markets

Futures are down close to 1% on digestion of Monday’s bounce and as UK PM Truss defended her spending plan.

UK Prime Minister Truss doubled down on her tax cut and spending package, calling it the “right plan.”  The market still disagrees, however, and the Pound is down –0.5% and 10-year GILT yields are up 14 bps on the comments.

Economically the only notable report was EU Economic Sentiment which missed estimates (93.7 vs. (E) 96.0).

Today the key economic report will be weekly Jobless Claims (E: 218K) and as we’ve consistently said, the sooner this number moves towards 300k, the better for markets.  We also get the final Q2 GDP (E: -0.6%) and there are two Fed speakers, Mester (1:00 p.m. ET) and Daly (4:45 p.m. ET) but they shouldn’t move markets.

Like the past several days, the British Pound and 10-year GILT yields will drive global markets.  If the Pound drops and GILT yields rise further, stocks will fall and could give back most, if not all, of yesterday’s gains.

Economic Breaker Panel: August Update

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Sevens Report Economic Breaker Panel: August Update
  • S&P 500 Reaches Key Technical Support: Chart

Stock futures are steady this morning as this week’s rise in both the dollar and bond yields has paused while economic data in Europe was better than feared

Economically, the Eurozone Manufacturing PMI was 49.7 vs. (E) 49.0 and the Services PMI came in at 50.2 vs. (E) 49.0 which is helping ease some stagflation concerns after last week’s soft growth numbers yet stubbornly high inflation across Europe.

Looking into today’s session, the focus will be on economic data early, specifically, the PMI Composite Flash (E: 49.2) as investors will want to continue to see steady moderation and evidence of slowing growth but not an all-out crash in the data either. New Home Sales (E: 575K) will also be released shortly after the open.

Outside of the data, there is one Fed speaker on the calendar: Kashkari, but not until after the close (7:00 p.m. ET) while there is a 2-Yr Treasury Note auction at 1:00 p.m. ET that could move yields.

Bottom line, news flow has not been decidedly negative over the last few sessions and the pullback in stocks has been largely driven by the rally in the dollar and rising bond yields. So if we can see those two markets stabilize, equities should be able to stabilize today as well, especially with the S&P into solid technical support, however, if the dollar and yields both grind higher, expect further volatility in the stock market ahead of Jackson Hole.

Have Bond Yields Peaked?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Are Stocks Starting to Signal Bond Yields Have Peaked?
  • Growth Is Beginning to Outperform Value; Will It Last?
  • Oil Tumbles Through Technical Trend Support: Chart

Futures are flat while international markets were mixed overnight as investors continue to weigh recession fears against a slightly less hawkish shift in monetary policy expectations.

The 10s-2s yield curve spread notably inverted overnight as the odds of a recession in the quarters ahead continue to rise.

Economically, Eurozone Retail Sales edged up just 0.2% vs. (E) 0.4% in May which was the latest data point to show a slowdown in consumer spending amid high inflation, further compounding worries about global growth.

Looking into today’s session, there is one Fed speaker ahead of the bell (Williams at 9:00 a.m. ET) and the focus will be on economic data with the ISM Services Index (E: 54.8) and JOLTS (E: 11.250M) both due out shortly after the open.

The market will want to see a continued moderation in growth to show the Fed’s policy actions are working to slow demand, but not too weak to suggest we are quickly fading into a recession.

From there, the focus will shift to the release of the June FOMC Meeting Minutes at 2:00 p.m. ET as investors look for new insight into the Fed’s view of the economy and potential clues as to whether we have reached “peak hawkishness” yet, or not. If there is evidence peak hawkishness is behind us, yesterday’s risk-on money flows could continue today.

Are Bonds a Buy?

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • If a Recession Is Imminent, Are Bonds a Buy?

Stock futures are down more than 1% this morning following more negative earnings news in the tech sector.

SNAP is down 30% this morning after issuing a profit warning late yesterday, citing a quickly deteriorating macroeconomic environment that is weighing on tech broadly.

Economically, Composite Flash PMI data slightly missed estimates in Europe overnight, but notably remained comfortably in expansion territory, easing some concerns about a looming recession.

Looking into today’s session, focus will be on economic data early with the PMI Composite Flash (E: 55.5) and New Home Sales (E: 748K) due to be released and the market will be looking for fresh signs that the economy is in good shape and not significantly losing momentum right now. There is also a 2-Yr Treasury Note auction at 1:00 p.m. ET today which could move yields on the short end of the curve, and in turn, impact equity trading.

Focus will turn to monetary policy midday with Fed Chair Powell scheduled to speak at 12:20 p.m. ET. Any hints at a less aggressive approach to policy tightening in the months ahead will be welcomed by investors and could help the latest attempt at a relief rally regain its footing. However, the combination of soft data in the morning and a hawkish-leaning Powell could send stocks lower.

Tom Essaye Quoted in CNBC on May 9th, 2022

10-year Treasury yield rises to its highest level since November 2018

To start the year, we knew that central bank tightening would make for a challenging market, but that has been compounded by two surprise events: The Russia/Ukraine war (no one expected that in January) and Chinese lock-downs (it’s quasi-shocking the Chinese are still adopting these policies and crushing their economy)…wrote Tom Essaye of The Sevens Report. Click here to read the full article.